Monsanto Awarded ONE BILLION Dollars Due To Patent Infringement For A Product That Was Never On The Market

from the roundup-ready dept

We’ve had plenty of stories over the years of Monsanto’s incredibly aggressive stance when it comes to its “Roundup Ready” patents. The company has now been awarded $1 billion from Dupont for infringing on one of these patents. Now, here’s a case where we’re talking about competing companies, so perhaps no big deal, right? Except there’s one tidbit here that makes this interesting: Dupont never brought the product in question to market. So the “damages” to Monsanto would seem to be minimal… except in a court of law apparently. According to Patently-O:

The damages theory was interesting. Since the accused product was not yet on the market, Monsanto did not seek any lost profit. Rather, Monsanto demanded a reasonable royalty for the research-use made by the defendants. Monsanto argued that the use of Monsanto’s invention in DuPont’s labs and Pioneer’s test fields gave those companies an “improper head start” in making the GM seeds. The judge and jury agreed – if those companies wanted to build upon the invention then they should have first obtained a license. In the pharmaceutical world, 35 U.S.C. § 271(e) offers a research exemption for this type of activity. However, that exception does not apply here because of the low level of regulation over genetically modified food-products. The patent is set to expire in 2014. The patentee’s right-to-exclusive-research supported by this case means that the 2014 date offers a starting-date for follow-on competitive research. Any actual products building directly upon the patented invention will arrive on the market sometime later.

Got that? Normally, companies can build on top of others’ products as patents are set to expire, so they’re ready to launch once the patent has expired. But, in this case, even trying to build new offerings in a lab for use later is apparently an insane billion dollar issue. Even worse, it means that any real competition, which will create more market-reasonable prices, gets significantly delayed as no one can prepare for when the patent expires.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: dupont, monsanto

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Monsanto Awarded ONE BILLION Dollars Due To Patent Infringement For A Product That Was Never On The Market”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Monsanto just needs to die!!!


Re: If Monsanto doesn’t want someone to work from their product, keep their genes outta my field. Oh wait, nature blew the pollen into it – sorry, it’s mine now.

You’d think that’d be the case but I suggest you watch the documentary “The Future of Food” sometime. You’d think thats how it would be but nope, US Gov’t allowed Monsanto to force farmers in these cases to pay them. The farmers even lost in court, in once case, their life’s savings.


Stuart says:

Re: Re: Monsanto just needs to die!!!

Normally I think Monsanto is a shit company.
In the case this article is written about as well.
The one you state though is one in which the farmer went on to poison his crop so that only the modified seed would remain.
He sorted it to come up with only Monsanto seed that he could then use.
That particular guy is a bit of a fuckhead.
Do not use that dirty fuckhead to attack Monsanto with as he is easily shown to be just as bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Monsanto just needs to die!!!

Based on what I’ve heard, they will sue you into oblivion if even one of “their” seeds grows on your property (even if it got there via a bird-crap) and you haven’t paid the license (/extortion) fee for it.

Evil, period.

Failing massive revolution, the west is on a track to destroy itself. Not that “multinationals” give a shit, mind you.

Wally (profile) says:


Someone please explain to me (short and clear as I do not need a response like those that Anonymous Coward With a Unique Writing Style would give) who used whose lab.

I can only guess that DuPont tried to market their similar rebranded product earlier than within the standard year which is required by law. Other than that I see no wrong on DuPont’s behalf. So maybe it was just a minor legal gaffe and nothing more.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Labs

You get lengthy responses from me because I need to be thorough with you. If I make responses simple and one or two lines, you misunderstand or completely miss the point. If I make them lengthy, you end up repeating what I said or just throwing a temper tantrum.

As I’ve said before, if you don’t like length responses posted usually in order to correct flat out lies you tell (because I usually only respond to you about Android information) then start doing more research and stop being wrong.

That’s cute though that you think of me.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Labs

Also, did you consider the fact you are way overly thorough? You lengthen your statements with long words to look intelegent. give your biased opinions as fact, and are really really hard to read. So of course I get confused by your cruddy way writing with having a jumble of words with a few (very few) intelegent statements or one-sided thoughts to validate the facts in your imagination. It’s hard for me to lie to anyone at all really.

Being thorough does not constitute long windedess.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Labs

I can’t tell if your post is sarcasm. If not, how the heck can you misspell the word intelligent and expect people to take your evaluation of other people’s intelligence seriously?

Unless English is your second language, in which case, I understand. Speaking a second language is not necessarily easy. But if you struggle with the English language because it’s your second language then your evaluation of what constitutes a word that few fluent English speakers know the meaning of is suspect. and don’t expect us to ‘dumb down’ or simplify our English just because you struggle with the language. I’m not going to formulate my sentences around your limited English vocabulary and neither is anyone else. You can always visit or Google translate to help translate and define words.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Labs

I hate spamming the same comments over again but I see itbsuits you do nicely:

Not to annoy you, but your only basis to try to discredit me is due to the fact you lack intelligence to point out any other mistakes in an otherwise perfectly flawless statement. When you have something intelligent to contribute to the posts here in this article. I highly encourage you to do so troll. Otherwise you have no place here.

Wally says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t see how I should dignify that as a response due to….
A) Your lack of citation
B) You gave words not an explanation given logically
C) You’ve done a ton of trolling and don’t realize you’re the only one laughing.
D) Judging by how you spell Anerican as “AmeriKan” you are attempting (and failing miserably) trolling.

I do not have the time or the energy any longer to smack the stupid out of you, but if tempted further, I will.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

DuPont deals in chemicals…..there are more than one way to make rubber tires and plastics. DuPont uses industry standards and FRANDs quite reasonably. Monsanto is nothing but a patent troll.

That being said, molecular structures designed to strengthen the durability of certain products is quite patentable. It provides a wide variety of methods due to the wonders of Chemistr because chemistry provides more than one way to skin the cat persay.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So then what do you suggest patents should be intended for if not to serve the public interest?

Are you suggesting that patents should be intended for something else?

If patents are intended for anything other than serving teh public interest than they ought to be abolished. I don’t need to be an expert to posses and express such an opinion and I expect a representative government to proportionately represent my stance on this issue, not just to disproportionately represent the plutocracy.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Maybe you’re unaware I’m onto trolls like you. If youre not a troll, then let me enlighten you a tad.

1. My father was a chemical engineer at Owen Corning glass so I kind of have a unique perspective on patent laws pertaining to the Chemicals R&D industry. As for my father, he recently retired from teaching Chemistry.

2. Because of chemistry, there are many different ways to make chemical bonds into different products.

3. Chemical R&D is covered under trade secret patents. Best known example is something a lot of my fellow countryman use to unstick bolts, maybe you’ve heard of it….WD-40

4. I know you’re just saying that to get attention and honestly, you got mine. I gave you a well thought out and logical response to your trolling attempt. There’s your attention troll, but tread lightly, I have VERY little patients for trolls.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wait, wasn’t this part of the reason patents were created in the first place? Disclose the knowledge in return for a temporary monopoly so that others may look at it but not use it yet? Why else would it have been framed like that if you’re not even allowed to use it to build something for after the patent expires?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Wow. The only basis that you decided to argue against me is because of your assumption of me not knowing a damn thing about Chemicals R&D (key words after “R&D….CHEMICALS). You could have easily tried to discredit me based on my statements on patents involving R&D Chenical engineering. But no, you used your last statement proving you are incapable of logical reasonung skills or tgought.

Your statement proves that the only reason you tried to discredit me was based upon YOUR assumption I was taking the opposite side of your baseless opinions. That completely discredits you for this entire article.

Anonymous Coward says:

Has the case about Lundbeck in europe been covered?
EU has charged them with at least:
– Illegal meetings with copy-medicine producers in a pay-to-delay case
– Compensating the copy-medicine producers for emptying their stores
– Trying to block extention on the generic Citalopram rights (was so absurd that prices hiked by 500+% (up to about 1500 % in one day…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: lordy

No, ” it specifically is designed so that your competitors can try to build upon it” is exactly what patents are for, the patent needs to expire or be licenced before you can bring something to market, but the whole point is to give the owner of the patent a limited monopoly on their invention. It is todays insanity that has broken the patent system as trolls and IP extremeists are trying to claim that you can own an idea and bill/sue any-one using it. It is not how it was envisaged… it is meant to be about marketing a product.

Anonymous Coward says:

good on monsanto, they were able to come up with a product so good that get paid for it, without even having to sell it..

so what, obviously that product has great value to some people, enough value that they are willing to steal that idea, and see it themselves… (and make a shit load of money)..

no one went without,, except until this ruling … monsanto.. after this ruling, no one went without..

it’s a ‘positive sum gain’ by all parties.. (you upset you did not get a cut masnick ?? )..

Anonymous Coward says:

if a power station invents a new type of high efficiency generator, it does not have to sell that design to make money, nor does it want to give that item away for others to make money..

they are in the market of selling electricity, not generators, same applies to companies like monsanto.. they sell products not patents..

Anonymous Coward says:

Not sure why all the fuss. A company holds a patent. Another company is held to infringe the patent. The law provides for either monetary damages, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty. Maybe the royalty is reasonable. Maybe it is not.

In any event, this case is still before the District Court, and will likely remain there so some time as the infringer prepares various motions to the court. Only if those fail would the case be in condition for an appeal to the Federal Circuit.

It should also be borne in mind that the patent at issue contains a variety of claims that are quite different from one another. Without knowing which claims were held to have been infringed, it is not possible to understand what were the contested issues and why they were resolved in the manner they were.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Wally FTL

Not to annoy you, but your only basis to try to discredit me is due to the fact you lack intelligence to point out any other mistakes in an otherwise perfectly flawless statement. When you have something intelligent to contribute to the posts here in this article. I highly encourage you to do so troll. Otherwise you have no place here. Someone please help me scan the avatar that matches Slicewizard’s. I’m sure he’s tried trolling and failed before.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...